Partners Sanction $9 Billion Project Off Brazil
The Equinor-led BM-C-33 will utilize a gas processing FPSO in the Campos Basin field cluster.
Equinor, Repsol Sinopec Brasil and Petrobras will move forward with the $9 billion BM-C-33 development offshore Brazil. The trio made the final investment decision to green-light the project this month.
Located in the Campos Basin around 200 km from shore in water depths up to 2900 m, BM-C-33 comprises three different pre-salt discoveries—Pão de Açúcar, Gávea and Seat—containing natural gas and oil/condensate recoverable reserves above 1 billion BOE.
The concept selected for BM-C-33 is based on an FPSO capable of processing gas and oil/condensate and specifying these for sale without a need for further onshore processing.
The FPSO’s production capacity will be 16 million m3/D of gas with average exports expected of 14 million m3/D. Startup is planned in 2028.
“The final investment decision of BM-C-33 is an important milestone for the partners and for Equinor,” said Geir Tungesvik, executive vice president for projects, drilling, and procurement. “Together with partners and suppliers we have developed a significant project which will provide Brazil with energy to meet its growing energy demands and create value for owners and society, contributing to local industrial development. Brazil is one of Equinor’s core areas and the investment in BM-C-33 emphasizes the strategic importance of our Brazilian portfolio.”
BM-C-33 is one of the main projects in the country to bring new supplies of domestic gas. Gas exported from the project could represent 15% of the total Brazilian gas demand at startup.
BM-C-33 will be Equinor’s second FPSO in Brazil using combined cycle gas turbines, significantly reducing carbon emissions during operations, according to the company.
"The technology will also be applied in Bacalhau, in the Santos Basin, and it combines a gas turbine with a steam turbine to take advantage of the excess heat that would otherwise be lost. By implementing this technology, the average CO2 intensity of BM-C-33 over its lifetime will be lower than 6 kilos per barrel of oil equivalent," the company said.
BM-C-33 will be the first project in Brazil to treat the gas offshore and be connected to the national grid without further onshore processing. The sales gas is planned to be exported through a 200-km offshore gas pipeline from the FPSO to Cabiúnas, in the city of Macaé, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Liquids are planned to be offloaded by shuttle tankers.
In July 2022 TechnipFMC was awarded the front-end engineering and design study for the project. The study included an option to proceed with a direct award to the contractor for the integrated engineering, procurement, construction, and installation phase of the project.
Equinor operates BM-C-33 and holds a 35% stake in the project. Partners in the development include Repsol Sinopc Brasil (35%) and Petrobras (30%).
Repsol Sinopec made the BM-C-33 discoveries in 2010. Equinor became operator in 2016.